The need for prayer retreats
Our world has been seized by violence and unrest. There is no portion of land on this earth where there aren’t people and individuals suffering for their right to lead a respectable life. Millions die regularly for causes that defy logic. There are individuals, organizations and governments that kill, prosecute and oppress in the name of power, authority and religion.
If a planet seized by anarchy wasn’t enough, there are millions of seemingly privileged individuals who lead lives of abject misery and alienation. People are disconnected from each other – from their families, friends, colleagues, communities, etc. Individuals are divided against each other based on difference and diversity. The common man cannot rest easy because of a sense of imminent danger to his personal security. Life has never been more nightmarish.
In such anxious and stressful times, retreating from the general flux of life can be rejuvenating.
Retreat: what does it mean?
The Oxford dictionary defines the word ‘retreat’ as an act of moving back or withdrawing. This withdrawal is usually understood to be to a quiet and isolated location. In religious history through the ages, spiritual leaders, prophets, messengers of god have been known to retreat or withdraw to a secluded and silent place during times of tribulation and stress. The purpose of such a retreat was to spend time in communion with God, to meditate on his presence and creations and gain a better understanding of their purpose in life that is acceptable in the eyes of God.
A prayer retreat allows you to move away from the daily pressures and anxieties of life, to adopt new perspectives, change focus and return a reborn individual. A retreat spent in prayer is about forgetting your regular life and opening yourself up to the presence of God when there are no distractions.
The importance of prayer
Prayer at a retreat isn’t simply about interceding and confessing. Most believers and church leaders will tell you that prayer is a way of life. What they are basically trying to say is that prayer is a consciousness of the presence of God at every moment of your life. Leading a life of prayer implies living every moment as if God is privy to your every move, thought, word and action. It is also about living a life in accordance with the divine will of God.
Living a life of prayer
Before you can live a fruitful life of prayer, it is necessary to get a little practice and get an idea of how to go about it. Prayer retreats are the ideal place to learn the importance of God in your life and live a worthy and spiritual life.
The solace and rest that comes with prayer can ground you and bring focus back into your life. So, begin with attending prayer retreats where you are taught to meditate on God and make him a part of your daily routine. You are provided with tools and guidelines that can transform your life into a living prayer.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Prayer retreats are available at Franciscan Friar Retreat Center at Oceanside, California every weekend, schedule your retreat and register at http://www.sanluisrey.org/